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[Editor's Note: Numerous local entrepreneurs and investors were quick to point out the problems with measuring internet traffic in China, we discovered during a VentureBeat trip to the country in May. To help explain the issues, we asked Victor Koo (pictured), the founder of leading online vide-sharing site Youku, to contribute his thoughts in the column below. See this recent guest column by the folks at Web2Asia for more details on the Chinese internet market.]
LaunchBox Digital, an incubator/investment firm based in Washington, D.C., just announced the lineup of its first “class” of startups. After working with LaunchBox for three months, the companies are giving their East Coast demos today, and will be at the Palo Alto, Calif. offices of Cooley Goodard Kronish tomorrow.
At least nine Facebook employees are selling company stock — that private-company stock broker Laurence Albukerk personally knows of. In a recent BusinessWeek article, he estimates there are “dozens” of employees already going through various brokers. Facebook has previously confirmed that it’s letting employees sell some of their company stock. Buyers include “two investment firms,” the article says, although it’s not clear if this includes venture firms, private equity firms or other investors.
Virtual world creator Six Degrees Games has taken $7 million to develop a world for six to 14 year old children with a sports theme. The funding is the company’s first.
On July 11, the iPhone 3G successfully launched in 21 countries around the world. After some initial launch blunders, like the massive activation system outage here in the United States, it’s now selling like crazy, but Apple is finally starting to catch up with demand. And it will launch in seven new countries later this month. [Update: It will actually be 20 new countries, see the bottom.]
Over the past year, it has become difficult to read business news without finding a mention of how one company or another has launched a recycling initiative or installed solar panels. Motivations vary, but marketing departments long ago realized that going green generates good press.
Search and advertising giant Google is taking aim at marketers with a new tool called Insights for Search. Of course, Google Trends already allows you see how different search terms rise and fall over time, but Insights for Search takes things a step farther, allowing marketers (and anyone else) to slice up the data by region, industry or time period.
Uploading photos to web sharing sites — as fast as you can take pictures — is kind of a new obssession for the digerati. Eye-Fi is riding that wave with memory cards that have built-in Wi-Fi antennae that can upload photos to photo-sharing sites.
I can remember the first interview I did with Jen-Hsun Huang, chief executive of Nvidia, back when the company was coming out of stealth in 1995. Since 3-D games didn’t exist back then, Huang described his graphics chip as the ideal “Windows accelerator.” And if you remember those days, Windows needed a lot of help. Then came no less than 50 3-D graphics startups. They all came and went. Nvidia remains.
Cable giant Comcast has purchased the female-oriented email newsletter DailyCandy for $125 million, Silicon Alley Insider reported earlier today. What isn’t being reported though is that the sale price is actually less than the valuation DailyCandy received following its last round of funding, a source close to the sale tells us.
Hulu, the online streaming video site backed by NBC and Fox, has been nothing short of successful. The usage numbers are very good and the amount of free, ad-supported content is arguably better. If there is a knock that can be made against it though (besides its lack of availability outside the United States), it’s in the department of high definition content.
The App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch is not even a month old and already we’ve seen a number of applications sent out with security issues and one, NetShare, that appears to violate AT&T’s own terms of service. But today an app was released that trumps all of those: I Am Rich, a $999.99 app that does, get this: Nothing.
Koolanoo Group, which owns and operates web sites in China, based has raised $25 million in a third round of funding. The financing comes from Israel-based Giza Venture Capital.
Gamers spend a lot their time online and communicate often with friends. That’s why everybody wants to rope them into a social network. But gamers have proven to be an elusive and fragmented bunch of tribes. Whoever succeeds at creating a universal social network for gamers will have it made.
Nintendogs for the DS was a brilliant game. Its premise — pick a puppy and nurture it to adulthood — played on the digital pet theme that has driven high sales from Tamagotchi to Pikachu, and let you teach your dogs fancy tricks and skills that would improve over time, almost like it was learning.
When’s the last time you bought an actual CD? For me, it’s been almost a year which is crazy considering that between the mid 1990s and mid 2000s I bought hundreds of them. Have I stopped liking music? No, I’ve just gone digital, and apparently so has much of the rest of the United States.
Remember that “future product transition” that Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer talked about during Apple’s earnings call last month? It was mentioned several times as one reason for Apple’s less-than-stellar guidance for the fourth quarter. Yeah, that could be delayed.
The promise of Wi-Fi on planes continues to creep closer to reality. Today, Delta Air Lines announced that its entire fleet of over 330 planes traveling throughout the continental U.S. will be equipped with wireless Internet.
Home video game consoles became so good at 3-D graphics that they nearly wiped out the location-based electronic entertainment business. But Total Immersion believes that it’s still possible to offer theme-park style visual entertainment to thrill even jaded gamers.
BitGravity is a bit player in the world of moving video through the web. But it believes in rounding up some powerful partners.
The discovery of water on Mars might spur a lot of interest in the science fiction dream of terraforming the Red Planet into a habitable place. That could be good for Avatar Reality, a virtual world company in Honolulu that is building “Blue Mars,” a 3-D world with ambitious graphics and a setting that takes place after the successful colonization of Mars.
Friendster, the formative social network of the modern web era that became a verb for rollercoaster failure and then took over large chunks of the Asian market, has some good news this evening.
If you’re anything like me, the iPhone/iPod Touch 2.0.1 software update has you playing with your device even more than usual tonight. If you need some new applications, there continues to be no shortage of odd and potentially useless ones that are flowing into Apple’s mostly brilliant App Store. Read about some of the other crazy ones here and here.
A startup called Anvato has raised $550,000 to launch a new video search service that helps publishers find copyright-infringing videos online. Backers include William Lohse, founder of Softbank Forums and former president of Ziff-Davis, former Ziff-Davis Interactive Media President Jeff Ballowe and Ogden Capital.
Brace yourself ladies and gentleman, we may have a hanging chad situation emerging out of last week’s Yahoo shareholder meeting. The meeting was largely uneventful as Yahoo cut a deal with investor Carl Icahn days before to diffuse his hostile takeover attempt (and he didn’t even show up). But there may be more to the story including potential voting fraud or at least miscalculation, a source tells AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher.
It’s been just over three weeks since the launch of the iPhone 3G and the 2.0 software for the iPhone. If there is one thing that everyone can agree on, it’s that the software is fairly buggy.
MagicPad, the application that brings a copy and paste solution to the iPhone and iPod Touch launched yesterday in the App Store. Copy and paste functionality has long been at the top of users’ desires for the Apple devices, but unfortunately it took a back seat while Apple prepared and launched its 2.0 software. MagicPad’s solution shows how it could work, but the problem is that it’s confined to only that application.
One of the first applications I downloaded through Apple’s new App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch was called Box Office. As you can probably guess, it uses your location to find movie times and theaters around you. I’ve used it a couple of times already to catch a movie; it’s worked great. I’d recommend you download it but there’s one problem: It’s been pulled from the App Store.
Intel is in that part of the James Bond movie where the bad guy talks about how he’s going to eliminate Bond, which in this case is that pesky little company, Nvidia.
Much more silently than it came into the world, music search and sharing site Social.FM has gone back out — leaving what users it had to retreat to Pandora, iLike or one of the other, more successful music sites on the Internet.
The music labels haven’t made it easy for unauthorized web sites to stream music on the web. But David Porter, the founder of 8tracks, has figured out a way around the copyright law obstacles to deliver a useful and legal sharing service to music fans.
Forgive Otis Chandler if he still believes people read paper artifacts like books. His grandfather and namesake, after all, was the publisher of the Los Angeles Times.
StumbleUpon is all about site discovery. I used to click on the “Stumble!” button and figured it would return me some random site based on the categories I said I was interested in. But then I noticed that the more I used it, better sites were being sent my way. This is because it’s not actually random, but rather sites are served up based on a series of processes that go on within the StumbleUpon Recommendation Engine.
Toyota working on Segway killer — The transportation robot is called Winglet and comes in three sizes. See screenshot, via ZDnet.
While many people out there are clamoring for what would essentially be a larger iPhone, the Mac Tablet, others are thinking they want a smaller device. The latter group may get their wish this holiday season, as Apple is supposedly prepping an “iPhone Nano,” according to the UK’s Daily Mail.
While even the popular social networks nowadays aren’t making that much money (Facebook expects to make $350 million in revenues this year), the burgeoning field of mobile social networks could be big business shortly, a new report by ABI Research indicates. Specifically, location-based mobile social networks could earn revenues of $3.3 billion within five years.
If I were to take a poll of everyone I’ve talked to about the iPhone, my guess is that most would say its biggest problem is not related to the device or even Apple at all, but rather its carrier: AT&T. While I personally have never had a problem with the carrier, a lot of people out there seem to rabidly dislike the company’s cellular offering. For those people I have some very bad news: AT&T has apparently extended its exclusive deal to be the American carrier of the iPhone for another year — until 2010.
Tracking photos on the web isn’t easy. And getting paid a royalty each time a photo is viewed? Fuggedaboutit.
We’re one week away from the opening of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Most of us stateside likely won’t be making the long trip, but there are a few interesting ways to keep up to date on the action around the web.